When I was younger, I gauged some self worth based on how other people felt about me. Even as I got older, I still found it really difficult when it seemed like someone didn’t like me. I took it as a personal offense and tried to figure out how to make them like me.
The older I get the more the thinking has shifted. I’m not saying I’m 100% comfortable with someone not liking me. I still have a deep seated desire to please, and while I may not like everyone, I want everyone to like me. (Ironic, no?) I will never be one of those people who simply say whatever and don’t care if you like them or not. In fact I doubt the authenticity of their feelings because I cannot imagine ever really being like that. Maybe they do. If so, I don’t get it.
But, in the last few months, along with periods of self-reflection, I have made some realizations. Not everything, or everyone, in my life serves to make me better. In fact, some of it might make me worse if I’m perfectly honest. I started gauging where I spend my time and energy differently.
There are things that I spent a great deal of time on that I am currently not spending time on at all because it did not make me a better person. A lot of it had to do with competition and feeling like I didn’t matter or had to earn my place. I realized I didn’t need that. There are parts, and people attached, that I miss but deep down I feel better for not allowing it to have such a place of importance in my life. Nothing that makes me feel unworthy should hold such importance.
In the same way, there are some people that I’ve taken some steps back from. No matter how much I love them or how important they have been, if they don’t make me a better person, why do I give them such power over me. Those aren’t my people. I have people who make me better. I have people who challenge me. I have people who care about me and who I know if I need something or just someone to talk to, I can rely on them. I have taken steps back from people who do not fit those things, people who, through no fault of their own, just aren’t people who I can go to if I need to talk.
That was a hard lesson to learn, that you don’t have to be all things to all people. That there are some people who only want you for what you can do for them and while you love them, it’s soul-sucking not soul-challenging. I want to surround myself with soul-challenging people instead.
I am a person driven hard at the core by competition and constantly trying to earn my place in peoples’ lives and prove my worth. But, when you find your people that love you no matter what, how do you go back to having to work so hard for love? How do you go back to feeling worthless when you know the God of the universe knows you’re worth so much? Enough to die for.
I want to work to better myself and stop wasting energy on things (or sadly people) who do not serve that purpose. Life is too short to let things drag you down. I honestly hope some day some of these things (and people) come back around and start challenging me to be better, but until they do, they cannot hold a key place in my life anymore. And that’s ok. Life is about changes.